October 10th is International Mental Health Day.
Every year that day, the main purpose is to raise awareness about mental health and mental illness, the deletion of every stigma that surrounds this topic. Every year seems to open a little more space for people who want to talk about what they experience, but they feel they cannot. Mental health is not a shame – we all live in the same society that is constantly running and we all set high expectations to ourselves constantly. Sometimes, we need to take a break and take care of ourselves. It is our only source of power.
Below, a text from www.awakengr.com has made the round of the internet – and for good reason. It is worthwhile to read.
“We do not live, we run.
We’re all running, to catch up, to do, someone to see, to pay, to hear, to learn, to read, something.
From the moment we open our eyes until we close them, we run.
Even during moments of rest, even in our spare time, even then we feel like we must do something.
“What are you doing?”. “Nothing” (this is the most worrying answer).
“What are you doing?”. “Running” (this is the most common answer).
If you sit for an hour without doing anything, just looking at the wall or nature, you feel guilty.
If they see you resting for an hour, doing nothing, just looking at the wall or nature, they will suggest ‘antidepressants’.
Because beyond the tasks you have to do, besides your duties, you could make use of this time by reading, listening to music, hitting the gym – instead of losing your time.
As if the time of relaxation is lost life. Like the rest of life, where we’re running to prevent something, is a winning life.
Even our children are breastfeeding with the ideal of the unrelenting effort.
We run, our children are running.
We always have to do something, not to “waste our time”. But this empty time is an absolute need.
When we empty our mind, we get closer to our core.
Mental illness is the pandemic of modern civilization.
Depression, compulsions, phobias and especially anxiety.
Why we are running? We run to save our life and we do not understand that life is actually left behind.
What we chase is the face of the expectations we think we must have.
Why we have to be successful, we have to have more money, we have to be educated-smart-beautiful-tired-weak-happy -we have to have the smartest kids, and we have to overcome the others, get more money from others, be more educated-smart-beautiful-tired-weak-happy than others.
We have to do, we have to be, we have to have something more and something more and we are all running to grab it and we are all struggling to achieve this “more”, and finally comes a moment where you understand that you lost the little that you had.
You did not enjoy your body and your youth, because you always wanted to be stronger, handsomer, sexier.
But when you are eighty years old and you look at the pictures of youth, you understand that you were more handsome than you believed then.
You did not enjoy your partner because he constantly complained and did not make enough money, and he was not romantic-handsome-erotic and because you did not get to work with him, you had to run.
But at the age of eighty, when you will not have him/her next to you, you will miss his complaints and his faults, and that stupid way he told you, “Oh, yes, I love you”
You did not enjoy your kids because you had to send them to the kindergarten so you could run to offer them everything and you had to prepare them for kindergarten, send them to elementary school, send them to learn – music-theater-ballet-computers, and they had to read all day to go to university and then leave the house before you even realized where time went.
And at eighty, you look at your children’s pictures and you understand that you did not get to embrace them as much as you wanted, you did not get to play with them because you had to run and they had to run.
You look back and you understand that you did not gain anything.
And that seems strange to you.
You were all running but you did not get it.
Why did you run then?
To pay all bills? But you still owe and new bills come every day.
And you understand that you were running to survive.
I’m sorry to say, but now, at the age of eighty, you do not have time for remorse.
Take a deep breath and empty your mind. Do not run anymore. Stop!
And if you are not eighty, if you have small children, embrace them, play with them. So quickly, before you realize it, they will no longer be children.
Stop! Take a breath.